Looking out over the Crown Range - New Zealand looks like the true Middle Earth


Forty leagues it stretched from the Far Downs to the Brandywine Bridge, and fifty from the northern moors to the marshes in the south. The Hobbits named it the Shire, as the region of the authority of their Thain, and a district of well-ordered business; and there in that pleasant corner of the world they plied their well-ordered business of living, and they heeded less and less the world outside where dark things moved, until they came to think that peace and plenty were the rule in Middle-earth and the right of all sensible folk.




- Mathoms - objects not of any immediate use, but those that Hobbits are unwilling to throw away.

- One gross - is twelve dozen among Hobbits.

- It snowed food and rained drink - Hobbit saying.

- Shire reckoning - the year of the crossing of the Brandywine became Year One of the Shire, and all later dates were reckoned from it.

- Filling up the corners - that time after the feast when one fits in just a little more food and drink.

- Springle-ring - a pretty dance, but rather vigorous. 

Green rolling hills in New Zealand - the real middle earth.
A cute wee stone cottage, like something from Lord of the Rings, NZ.
Wagon cart under pine trees.
Green pastures in New Zealand.
Hobbit hole windows, in a small house, NZ.
A real hobbit hole window in an old mining village NZ.


Away eastward the sun was rising out of red mists that lay thick on the world. Touched with gold and red the autumn trees seemed to be sailing rootless in a shadowy sea. A little below him to the left the road ran down steeply into a hollow and disappeared.

There was a stream at the foot of the hill. They filled their water bottles and the small camping kettle at a little fall where the water fell a few feet over an outcrop of grey stone. It was icy cold; and they spluttered and puffed as they bathed their faces and hands.

When their breakfast was over, and their packs all trussed up again, it was after ten o'clock, and the day was beginning to turn fine and hot. They went down the slope, and across the stream where it dived under the road, and up the next slope, and up and down another shoulder of the hills; and by that time their cloaks, blankets, water, food, and other gear already seemed a heavy burden. 

In front of them they saw the lower lands dotted with small clumps of trees that melted away in the distance to a broad woodland haze. They were looking across the Woody End towards the Brandywine River. The road wound away before them like a piece of string.

Real life mirkwood in New Zealand.
New Zealand mountains and plains, near Aoraki.
NZ snowy mountains and blue waters.
A boat by a lake - NZ the real middle earth.



Hornblowers . Proud-Foots . Yale
Stock . Woodhall . Buckland

Bree . Rushlight . Goatleaf . Heathertoes
Appledore . Ferny . the Chetwood

Nimrodel . Linden trees . Galadhrim
Cerin Amroth

Rohirrim . Theoden . Eowyn

Ithilien . Gondor . Faramir


Elven forests and gateways in the trees, New Zealand as Lothlorien.

Suddenly they came out into the open again and found themselves under a pale evening sky pricked by a few early stars. There was a wide treeless space before them, running in a great circle and bending away on either hand. Beyond it was a deep fosse lost in soft shadow, but the grass upon its brink was green, as if it glowed still in memory of the sun that had gone. Upon the further side there rose to a great height a green wall encircling a green hill thronged with mallorn-trees taller than any they had seen yet in all the land. Their height could not be guessed, but they stood up in the twilight like living towers. In their many-tiered branches and amid their ever-moving leaves countless lights were gleaming, green and gold and silver. 

New Zealand mount cook shrouded in fog, like Caradhras, from Lord of the Rings.
Elven forests near Takaka, New Zealand. 

"Look at all those weeping, trailing, beards and whiskers of lichen! And most of the trees seem to be half covered with ragged dry leaves that have never fallen. Untidy. I can't imagine what spring would look like here, if it ever comes; still less a spring-cleaning."
- Pippin

Rocky landscapes near Alexandra - like from Lord of the Rings.

Upon its outer marges under the westward mountains Mordor was a dying land, but it was not yet dead. And here things still grew, harsh, twisted, bitter, struggling for life. In the glens of the Morgai on the other side of the valley low scrubby trees lurked and clung, course grey grass-tussocks fought with the stones, and withered mosses crawled on them; and everywhere great writhing, tangled brambles sprawled.